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Buzzing sound on one note (Fret Buzz?)

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by AcidBogey, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. AcidBogey


    Nov 10, 2012
    South Wales
    Hi all, this is my first post on talkbass so forgive me if I've done anything wrong.

    I recently bought a Stagg EDB as my first double bass (I've been playing EB for years), and I have to say I'm really enjoying attempting to play this thing.

    However, I've noticed that I'm getting a horrible buzzing sound on the first B note of the A string. I've gone up the neck playing every note and this is the only spot this happens. As a double bass doesn't have frets I was wondering if this is still called fret buzz?

    I start my lessons at the end of next week so I'll ask my teacher about the problem then, but until then does anyone have any advice/solutions on what is causing this problem and if there's any way I can fix it?

    Thanks a bunch x
  2. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I'm assuming the buzzing is on the fingerboard and not in the body of the bass. Yes? If it's in the bass, then playing the same note on the D string will likely excite it.

    Most likely, the fingerboard has not been planed and dressed well. There is a very slight camber that is planed into the fingerboard of a DB to allow the strings to vibrate without buzzing against it. Assuming the same or a similar procedure is done on the EDB, either the planing needs to be tweaked and/or the strings are too low to the board. What are your string heights (measured from the bottom of the string to the fingerboard at the bridge-end of the board)?

    Check out this instructive thread.
  3. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I don't understand. How could it be fret buzz on a double-bass. Did I miss something?
  4. AcidBogey


    Nov 10, 2012
    South Wales
    Thanks for the reply. The buzzing happens at the fret so it sounds like what you said about the fretboard not being dressed well.
    The string height is around 1 - 1.5cm at the very end of the fingerboard
  5. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    pfox14, it is not fret buzz but buzzing on a slight bump in the fingerboard that is being discussed.
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    As I understand it, there are no frets and this is not really what I'd call a double-bass. Do they even dress the fingerboards of these things?

  7. I have two Staggs, one of them has a well dressed fingerboard and the action could be adjusted rather low almost without buzzing, the other one needs a higher action to avoid buzzing. Playable but needs some training for the hands.

    The problem with the normal (non-RDL) Staggs is, that the fingerboard is painted with a thick layer. So dressing removes the paint and the lighter wood colour shows through.
    This is the main reason why I didn't want to dress the fingerboard of the second Stagg but keep the high action and use it in rough situations only.
    Therefor I recommend the RDL-Stagg with the rosewood fingerboard (if a Stagg is the instrument of choice). It is nicer to play than the standard model, I checked both models, one after the other, on Musikmesse Frankfurt a few years ago.

    Always check a Stagg with a lower action and if it buzzes, give it back and get a new one until you are satisfied (if possible). Also check the electronics, some instruments are noisy amplified.
  8. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I've dressed the fingerboards of Stagg EUBs many times and, no, they don't have any frets! ;P
  9. basspost


    Mar 4, 2009
    If you have an adjustable bridge, try a half turn higher on the E - A side. Note: You can't turn the adjusters without slackening the strings. If that doesn't work, try another half turn on both adjusters. That kind of adjustment takes time and patience...Good luck...